As tech-enthusiasts have moved on to #ISTE13 in San Antonio, I’m taking a moment to reflect on #iplza13… that’s right, iPadpalooza 2013! I can’t describe the pride I felt being a small part of this big “festival of learning” in Eanes ISD. The event takes place annually in our high school, Westlake High School. A flood of Eanes educators and ed techies from all over Texas, the nation, and even from Canada this year, join in to share, celebrate, and move forward in this revolution in education. I can’t think of a more exciting time to be an educator!
Some iPadpalooza highlights for me included:
* Seeing Sir Ken Robinson speak eloquently with quick-Brit-witt about creativity, and how we can encourage creativity with tools like the iPad. Hearing such a well-respected educator speak common-sense ideas (that counter the direction education has been heading in recent years) was both refreshing and inspiring. If you’ve never had the pleasure of listening to Sir Ken, check out these TED talks.
* Meeting Rafranz Davis in person! This kindred-spirit has a passion for math education and technology integration… my kind of gal! She is just so darn positive and encouraging too! Check out her blog here, her winning video for the iPadpalooza contest here, and her fun Haiku Deck summary of iPadpalooza here.
* I also got to meet these great and dedicated “Tweeps”:
@mathtrain – Eric Marcos, whose students have created their own videos on mathtrain.tv – what he’s facilitated with his students shows he was before his time. With iPads, we can all strive to do more screen-casting, and allowing students to explain their thinking.
@bigpurplehat – Kristy Vincent, ed tech extraordinaire
@tracyclark08 – Tracy Clark, whose session on Formative Assessment rocked! Her energy is absolutely contagious! Here’s a link to her blog too.
@akbusybee – Andrea Keller, another great Twitter ed-tech presence with lots to share!
@4TeachProj – The Four Teachers Project is worth a look! These guys are the real deal with lots of heart for education. Check them out here.
This may sound cheesy, but you have to understand… both my husband and I are passionate about education and technology integration… which means, we work the same hours for a good majority of our lives and rarely see each other “in action” as a result. I swell with pride when I see my husband presenting. It helps so much that we “speak the same language” in all of our conversations about education and the direction we’re headed as tools like iPads are infused into everyday teaching and learning.
If you’d like to see an archived Live Stream of iPadpalooza main stage events, check out this link.
* Presenting my “iYear in Review” and meeting folks who have followed my blog this year. There aren’t too many things more rewarding than being told that I’m making an impact by sharing what I do and what my students are doing. So humbling and energizing, all at the same time!
* Meeting up with the folks on tour with the iSchool Initiative. I had a brief interview with these visionaries, which can be seen by clicking the picture below:
* After the conference was over, having the opportunity to follow-up and start talking about next year’s conference, and what we might do between now and then, with several of the infamous Eanes iVengers, including Carl Hooker, Lisa Johnson, Greg Garner, and Tanna Fiske. This wasn’t just a little chit chat – this follow-up was more of a think tank! Again, humbled and blessed to be a part of the revolution!